New Democratic opponent for LaRock in 33rd District

Posted: June 18, 2013

The Winchester Star

BERRYVILLE — A local Town Council member is replacing Kathee Myers as the Democratic candidate for the state’s 33rd District House of Delegates seat in the fall.

Mary Daniel, who represents Ward 3, announced Monday that she will challenge Dave LaRock on Nov. 5. The 33rd District includes portions of Loudoun, Clarke and Frederick counties.

LaRock upset longtime incumbent Del. Joe May, R-Leesburg, in the June 11 Republican primary.

Even though June 11 marked the filing deadline for candidates, state law allows for a party to replace a nominee who withdraws from a race up to 60 days before the election, Loudoun County Democratic Committee Chairman Evan Macbeth said.

He said Myers, a Purcellville resident, couldn’t make the commitment to such an involved campaign.

Daniel, who has a civil law practice in Winchester, has been on the Berryville Town Council since 2007. She said she prosecuted domestic violence and intimate partner sexual assault cases for the Winchester Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office for five years in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

She also spent many years on the Clarke County Planning Commission.

Daniel, whose late father Lewis Costello was on both the city and Frederick County school boards and had an unsuccessful run for Congress in 1984 — challenging D. French Slaughter Jr. for a seat in the 7th District, which then included the Winchester area — said she entered the race to give voters a choice on Election Day.

“When I realized that Kathee Myers was withdrawing, and I saw that the candidate running on an ultra-conservative platform had won, [I] just wanted there to be a challenger,” Daniel said. “I don’t believe that the vast majority of voters in our area are extremists, left or right. I think they want representation in Richmond that voices who we are, that will help preserve our very unique way of life up here. I think they want to see Richmond get back to problem solving.

“I’m a fiscal conservative. As a member of the Town Council, I have experience in making sure all of the community’s needs are met, and that our local government provides services that they’re required to provide and that we depend on, while simultaneously keeping our taxes as low as possible.”

Frederick County Democratic Committee Chairman Keith Provost said Daniel is an experienced policy maker.

“She’s not just a great candidate,” he said Monday. “She’s also got a proven track record. I think it’s a great switch actually. I think that there’s so much room in the middle-right and the left-right and in the independent [field]. I think there’s so much room with so many people who will be concerned when they learn more about LaRock and others he’s backing... Republicans in the party, practicing Republicans, are privately saying that they’re really concerned.

“Joe May was a person they could work with and knew how to get things done.”

— Contact Sally Voth at svoth@winchesterstar.com